Bye bye, Bernie–it always was a long shot, an uphill struggle, and I for one did not believe the “Democratic” Party would ever allow another progressive to obtain the nomination. I well recall the McGovern campaign of 1972, and how the mask came completely off the Dem Party. Democrats for Nixon, labor leaders proclaiming neutrality or actually endorsing the Republican ticket, the pointed non-endorsement of corrupt autocrats like Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley…all of that, and more, was the work of the 1% base that was and remains the owner of the (D) franchise. They learned from the McGovern experience, and made sure this time there would be no mistake–or, rather, there would be a nearly unbroken series of “mistakes,” beginning with Iowa. The last thing the 1% want in this country is democracy–that the rabble, we who are the stick people, the shadow lives they barely glimpse, should wield real power over the conditions of our lives.
Now we will, unless he suffers medical collapse prior to being nominated, be faced with the kind of “choice” the two-party system was designed to foist upon us; Biden vs Trump will pit one sexual predator against another, one climate-destroying clubby deal-maker against another, one pal of the wealthy vs another. It’s business as usual, and no patina of words or posturing changes anything at all.
So, what is to be done? Simply exiting politics is both short-sighted and selfish; we did take seriously the mantra of “not me, us,” didn’t we? Well, that is needed as a watchword and more, as we face the struggles ahead. Electoral politics–like the government itself–is gamed and calibrated to prevent significant changes unwelcome to the 1%; only ultra-wealthy individuals like Bloomberg or Perot before him, have a real chance at election to the White House, and all third parties are effectively defeated in advance by state laws obstructing their access to the ballot plus the hostility and inaccessibility of the mass [read: corporate] media. Third parties are fine for casting a symbolic protest vote, but that is all that can be expected in our national political reality.
Our power does not reside in the electoral circus, the casino where high-rollers battle it out to see who will garner the perks and privileges of serving the 1% for the next cycle of governance. Ours is the power that historically built the labor unions, forced civil rights laws upon unwilling legislators, and made a war of US aggression so unpopular that when the war criminal sitting in the White House planned to send another quarter of a million soldiers into the inferno, the Director of the FBI informed him he could not guarantee the internal security of the nation. That was our victory, and was followed not long afterwards, by the announcement by Lyndon Baines Johnson that he would not accept the nomination of the Democratic Party for another term of office.
The 1%, left to themselves, will kill us all. It is arguable whether they are more evil or stupid–certainly, they are both. They “think” that somehow they are going to survive climate catastrophe, perhaps in state-of-the-art bunkers, or will be cryogenically asleep in rockets sent into outer space, hopefully to land or be received by intelligent life, elsewhere. (We can be sure such life would be more intelligent, but that’s another matter.) Whatever their fantasies might be, they have little to do with the scope and velocity of the coming extinction event, and of course our own lives are as nothing to them. The Hillarys and the Bushes, the Obamas and the Trumps, all the “name” families routinely held up to us as our natural, rightful rulers, have no consideration for anyone other than themselves, living in the gilded, gated communities of wealth and power, only bothering with us when a photo op or an electoral ritual beckons. All illusions should be shed by us for all time, about these (un)worthies.
If we are to survive–and beyond that, to construct a society and way of life that is humane and reasonable–we must make business as usual impossible. There is no finessing this point: every major advance was met by the violence of those who rule, and there is no reason to expect otherwise now. That is why organized, mass actions that shut down the services and profit-making activities of the 1% are the indispensable key to taking back all that has been stolen from us, securing this country for our own, shared benefit. Individual acts, though often admirable and sometimes persuasive, will not suffice to create massive, lasting social change; for that, there has to be the staying power and comprehensive effect of a coordinated “No!” to the destruction underway, and a firm “Yes!” to the democratic, cooperative society we crave.
Let’s talk about this, as we go along. There ain’t no power like the power of the people, ’cause the power of the people don’t stop.
All Power to the People!